Shooting for 2 Photographers

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by fsquare, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. fsquare
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    fsquare New Member

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    Another question pertaining to second shooting. I'm already second shooting weddings with a production company. I would say i will be shooting anywhere from 10-20 weddings this summer with one already coming up next week. The thing is, I've been contacted by another photographer as well to second shoot. My question, is there anything wrong to work for both? Should I mention it to them that I am currently working for someone else at the same time? The first company is much bigger and gives me about a months notice on when i'm working + they let me work on a bunch of their albums all summer long to make even more money so i don't want to ruin it with them.
  2. The_Traveler
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    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent

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    Lucky you.
    I would guess that your employers don't have an exclusivity clause in your employment contract so why not?
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  3. fsquare
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    fsquare New Member

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    Actually I do consider myself lucky. Great for experience and some extra money. Nope, no contracts.
  4. 2WheelPhoto
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    2WheelPhoto New Member

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    Nice!
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  5. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Are you working as en employee or a contractor? If your an employee on their payroll, it may be an issue (or maybe not) but if you're just a contractor, then you're the one calling the shots. If you want to work for someone else as well, that's up to you. But as you seem to have a good situation going on, you don't want to mess it up, so it might be prudent to run it by them. If anything, let them know that you might be taking on other wedding gigs, so if they want to book you for their weddings, they should do so, farther ahead of time.

    I have second shot for three different photographers/companies, and I've offered my services (or been recommended to) several others. In one case, before one photographer hired me, he called the other ones that I usually work for (he knew them), just to ask them if it would be OK to ask me to shoot with him. So when either of the photographers needs me, they have to 'book me', like any other client.
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  6. fsquare
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    fsquare New Member

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    Thanks Mike...i am not employee of the production company. Right now, i'm the low man on the totem poll since they have 3 other second shooters so i don't want to ruin a good thing but i do want to make myself available for them all the time. I just find that makes me look good. Next year they want to hire a 5th lead so i really want to get some experience and try for that next year. I also really get along with these guys.

    Their main thing is video which i personally think they do an amazing job with but with all these video gigs they get so many people also want to do the photography with them which is why they get so much work. Not advertising for them or spamming but just wanted to show you one of their videos

  7. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    That was really good, I'd be excited to work with them too. (although, the constant heavy vignette wasn't my cup of tea).

    As you/they are seeing, I think that 'fusion' wedding packages (photo and video) are becoming more and more popular. I've been involved in many weddings and it's almost always the case that the photography was more important than the videography. This sometimes causes a clash, but that's being going on for decades. In some cases, the couples will value the video more than the photos, but that was (I think) rare...but I'd guess it's on the rise. And now with more [of us] offering both, in one package, it's a new era. And it's not only offering both, but combining the two. One of the photographers I work with, is an absolutely amazing photographer and is working hard to be great with the video production as well. The videos I've seen from him so far, he incorporates some of the images into the video for a true fusion.
    The last wedding I worked with him, he had me shooting video...even with my very limited experience in that part of it. But he trusted me and also needed me to set up the lighting at the venue while he was out shooting the group/formal shots.

    So back to your situation, I think the best thing to do, is to be open and honest with them. Let them know that they are your priority and you want to take a bigger role with the company, but that you are open to any other work that comes your way. Again, you may want to let them know that you're 'in demand' and if they want you, they have to book you sooner rather than later. It can be a double edged sword though, you don't want them to just wish you luck and go with someone else....so you'll have to read the situation well.
    But either way, remember that this is business and a big part of being successful is being confident in yourself and your abilities. If you value yourself high (without being pompous) others will likely value you high as well.
  8. DiskoJoe
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    DiskoJoe New Member

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    No do not mention this. Unless you are required to sign a non-compete agreement there is nothing wrong with this but your employers might get pissy if you tell them and they dont like you doing this. So DO NOT TELL THEM!!!! Try to schedule things the best you can and know who you would pick to stay with if needed, which you already have pretty much.

    DO NOT TELL THEM.

    This will likely only cause a headache for you and your wallet.
  9. fsquare
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    fsquare New Member

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    The only problem i could see with this is if we end up at the same wedding lol...awkwardddddd
  10. CCericola
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    CCericola Well-Known Member

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    Since most videographers and photographers know each other they are going to find out anyway. It is up to you whether they hear it from you or your other employer. They say it is easier to get forgiveness than permission but are you willing to put your job with them at risk? It would be professional courtesy to tell them ahead of time.
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  11. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    I'm not totally against 'not telling them', but it feels dishonest and I don't like that.

    I don't know about you, but around here, there are a small handful of very popular spots for wedding photos. For example, when I end up shooting wedding photos at the Alberta Legislature grounds on a Saturday in the summer, I'll probably see 10-15 other wedding parties & their photographers...just in the 45-60 minutes that we're there....all day, the place probably sees 100 weddings. Usually close enough to talk to 4-5 of them. I don't know them all, but the photographers that I most often work with, know most of them.
    Of course, us photographers don't prefer to shoot there...but the clients love it and request it.

    Heck, one time we were shooting at the Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton (skyline landmark, very ritzy). We had a couple flashes on stands being triggered with a pocket wizard (we almost always do). We were just wrapping up and the flashes start going off on their own. We turn around and another photographer had switched his PW to the channel we were on and was using one of our lights as a back light. Of course, he only did that because he knew the photographer I was with, and saw that were were done shooting in that spot.

    The point is, in my experience, it's not as simple as working for someone else and hoping that your first employer doesn't find out.
  12. fsquare
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    fsquare New Member

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    It's like that in Montreal as well Mike. While there are so many places to photograph people always end up in Old Montreal. To add, there are a ton of reception halls in Montreal but people generally go to the same high end ones.

    In the end i think i will tell them. I do feel comfortable enough to do so but i'll wait to get a date from the other photographer first.
  13. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    ^This!! Neglect professional courtesy and you might as well just head over to Best Buy now, pick up your new T2i/D3100 and put your ad on Craig's List.
  14. DiskoJoe
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    DiskoJoe New Member

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    They should advise you of specifics prior to the event or you should inquire regarding those details without drawing unneeded attention as to why you need this info.
  15. fsquare
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    fsquare New Member

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    or I can just ask them if they would allow it without having to hide it. Just too many problems can arise.
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  16. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    What's with all the cloak and dagger stuff? What ever happened to being honest and expecting that people will deal with you honestly?
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  17. DiskoJoe
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    DiskoJoe New Member

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    I work in human resources.
  18. sm4him
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    sm4him Where's the Bacon?!?

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    Not only is telling them the professional thing to do, I can see a LOT more ways that NOT telling them could come back to bite you on the back-end than ways that telling them could do the same. Telling them beforehand gives them the option to say, "No, we have a problem with that." And then you decide what to do. Not telling them could end quite badly.

    Also...if it were me, I'd put my Marketing degree to use and put a little "spin" on it. I'd tell them, but instead of making much of the fact that it's extra income, I'd play up the fact that I really want to have a future with this company, and by doing second shooting for these other weddings, it will really help my enhance my skills so that I can take on a much bigger role with this company in the future...or some such B.S. :lol:
    I can't tell you how many graphics design classes I've gotten my employer to PAY for with that kind of nonsense...
  19. fsquare
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    fsquare New Member

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    Thanks

    First of the year is Saturday...they are announcing a balmy -12c or 10f with a chance of snow lol...who gets married in February?
  20. fsquare
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    fsquare New Member

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    First wedding done. I don't work the reception. It was brutally cold outside. We took most of the shots indoors but damn when we did go out my fingers froze so bad I was snapping off 3-4 shots without even noticing because I couldnt feel anything.

    So 10 hours down, 400-500 shots. The lead and myself had a real good working relationship. We hardly if ever switched lenses. He stayed with his 24-70 and I was close cropping shots with my 70-200mm. A lot of candids, beauty shots on my part.

    By the end of the day we found out that the lead and myself went to the same high school and that our parents are good friends. Really small world. I'll try to get a couple of pics up soon.

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